MANSFIELD — The Richland Area Chamber of Commerce has announced six finalists for its 2019 Small Business of Year Award.
Two businesses will receive the award next month at the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year luncheon and be nominated for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Dream Big award. Mansfield’s MHS Industrial Supply was honored with by the U.S. Chamber with a Community Excellence Blue Ribbon in 2016.
Previous winners include McCready Interiors/Norwalk The Furniture Idea, The Shealy Group, Ritters Office Outfitters, Alumni Roofing, Richland Source, Jones Potato Chip Co. and MHS Industrial Supply.
This years’ finalists in the 14 employees & under category are Discovery Dental, Southern Title of Ohio and Hess Industries. Baker’s Collision Repair Specialists, Ashland Railway and Liberty Lawn & Landscaping round out the finalists in the 15 employees and over category.
Nominees for the award are judged on factors including financial performance and growth, community involvement, customer service and how they take care of their employees, according to Chamber President Jodie Perry.
“Our goal with the small business awards is really to tell the story of all the great small businesses that we have,” she said.
Discovery Dental in Shelby is the dental practice of Marissa Miller, DDS. Miller graduated from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 2008 and took over the practice in 2010.
Miller said it was gratifying to be nominated alongside such a diverse range of local businesses.
“We really appreciate getting to be part of a community where so many people are on a first name basis with each other. That’s one of the things I love about living and working here,” said Miller.
Southern Title of Ohio is a full service real estate title and escrow company based in Mansfield.
“It means the world to me. I feel totally humbled and honored to be selected as one of the finalists,” said Paula Kovinchick, vice president and co-owner of Southern Title. “I actually cried when we were notified.”
Mansfield’s Hess Industries Ltd. is a full service tool and die shop specializing in the build and repair of progressive and transfer tooling. Mark Hess got his start as a teenager working in his grandfather’s machine shop and founded Hess Industries in 1999.
“We were very humbled that we were chosen for this. First nominated and then chosen. It’s a great honor,” said Hess.
Baker’s Collision Repair opened its doors in 1953 and has been serving Mansfield area residents ever since. Its services include auto service, collision repair and glass repair.
Ashland Railway offers rail transit and logistical services, transloading and warehousing, railcare repair and storage. The business spans Richland, Ashland, Huron and Wayne counties.
"We're definitely honored to be a finalist," said Steve Nielsen, senior director of marketing and sales for Ashland Railway. "We would like to congratulate all the other finalists as well."
Liberty Lawn Care and Landscaping is located in Bellville. It offers mowing, landscaping, fertilization, hardscaping and snow plow services and a seasonal garden shop.
In addition to the six finalists for Small Business of the Year, the Chamber also named Little Buckeye Children's Museum as its non profit of the year and Mary Anne's Meats as the first-ever recipient of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.
"There are so many wonderful non profits in Richland County, so we're humbled and honored to be chosen," said Fred Boll, president of the museum. "It's kind of one of those things that confirm, 'yeah, we're doing something right."
Boll extended his thanks to everyone involved in making Little Buckeye a success.
"Winning this award was a group effort. I have a tremendously dedicated board, we have a great staff and volunteers who work here every day. This isn't a win for me, it's a win for everyone in our organization."